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A recent Chrome update is misplacing data from your Android apps

Google is working on a fix.

google chrome logo on purple background
Image: KnowTechie

Chrome 79 rolled out last week, but for some users, that roll-out also meant some of their personal data rolled elsewhere. First reported by 9to5Google, a bug has been losing user data from some apps, so Google has halted the roll-out.

While it was initially reported that data was gone, that’s not quite the truth. The data is still there, just that Android’s built-in WebView changed where it stores data and didn’t migrate the old data properly. Expect this to be fixed once Google knows which apps are affected.

Chrome 79 for Android is misplacing your app data

When Chrome updated to version 79, WebView also updated to 79, which caused an issue with data migration. The upshot is that Google decided to change where WebView stores its cached data, but for whatever reasons, didn’t fully migrate all the data used by some apps.

With over 50% of mobile Chrome users already on the newest version, it’s left Google with a mess. Some users have data just in the old location, some with data just in the new location, and some with data in both locations. Rectifying this without losing any user data is going to be a headache for all involved.

Google’s current state of play is figuring out which of the two possible strategies to fix the issue it will pursue:

  • Continue the migration, moving the missed files into their new locations
  • Revert the change by moving migrated files to their old locations

If you’re a developer and your app has been affected by this, chime in on the thread so Google knows your wishes.

What do you think? Surprised Google is having these issues with its most recent update? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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